Destination – Cabane Bertol (3311m / 10,863ft)
Route – Arolla – Cabane Bertol - Arolla
Time taken – 6hrs 30 min (including breaks)
Distance – 14 Km approx.
Altitude variation – 1634m ▲ / 1633m ▼Map -
Hike to Cabane Bertol had all the ingredients to call it a true Alpine hike - moderate
distance, high altitude, glacial path and fabulous “blanche” panorama!
After the mise-en-scène at Tour Dents du Midi and knowing the route to Cabane Bertol, I
made sure to rent crampons and an ice-axe from a sports shop at Arolla.
I started at 7.30AM, a little unusual
shift from my usual 4 o’clock drives for
earlier hikes from Geneva.
The trail gently sloped from Arolla
towards Mont Collon, left (3637m). The
beautiful mountain and its hanging
glacier occupied my attention for the
first one hour of steep climb through a
cliff until I arrived at Plan de Bertol
from where I had my first view of cabane
perched on a slim rock 600m above.
The rocky trail eventually ended a bit
further and path to cabane became an
ice and snow affair. After putting on the
crampons (my first ever...loved walking
in those spiky soles!), began my final
ascent with the last 200 meters a steep
ice walk leading to Col de Bertol.
On my way up....in the back-
ground is Petit Mont Collon
Once at Col de Bertol, it was an overwhelming sight of
grand glacial setting. In the center is Tête Blanche
(3710m) with overflowing Glacier du Monte Miné in
Glacier de Ferpècle (in the background) intersecting
Glacier du Monte Miné.
However, the destination was perched further 40m up
which was conveniently (beware vertigoes!) reached by
metal ladder-type stairs and chains.The "futuristic"
looking cabane was the perfect location to unbuckle
myself and let my thoughts blend with the nature...so
white, so pure!!
The descent was through the same route with a brief
stopover at Plan de Bertol to look back at the cabane one
more time before taking off my crampons.